The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Wisteria Festival at Kameido Tenjin

Last week, people in Japan enjoyed Golden Week, a string of four national holidays set very close to each other. Both my husband and sister were working on those holidays, and it seemed like everyone but us were enjoying Golden Week. The last of the Golden Week was Children's Day, and Rob gave Zak and I a pleasant surprise by saying he was coming home to spend the afternoon with us. It was a beautiful warm spring day, and we headed out to Kameido Tenjin Shrine to catch the final day of the annual Fuji Matsuri (Wisteria Festival). So did thousands of other people as we battled the crowds to get anywhere on the grounds. The purple wisteria vines looked lovely as they hung above the pond by the famous arched "Drum" Bridge.

Standing at the highest point of the (very crowded) Drum Bridge, with crowds of people marring the views of the red torii (shrine gate) and the path to the shrine:

Wispy wisteria vines - the main attraction of Kameido Shrine during this period:

A dance being performed by the miko (shrine maidens) adjacent to the shrine; and the shrine itself, but I didn't enter:

The crowded Drum Bridge; and the crowded yatai (food stalls):

As with all matsuri events, there were countless yatai (food stalls) on the shrine grounds offering a variety of street food.

A yatai selling some meat-filled pancake called シャーピン ("Shapin"). I think it's Chinese origin because the vendor was Chinese, and this tasted like a Chinese meat dumpling except that it was flat. It was delicious, by the way:

Charcoal-roasted Ayu (sweetfish), simply seasoned with salt; and chestnut-flavoured soft serve ice cream:

Summer is approaching, which means that there will soon be plenty of festivals all around Japan.


  1. Thank you for sharing the photos showing Wisteria festivel
    at Kameido Tenjin.
    I once lived near there, in a flat building in Kinshicyo.
    I used to visit it , at leat once a week to purify myself.
    YOu are a good photographer, because th wisteria in your photos
    look very beautiful.
    From Biscuitvan

  2. Hi Biscuitvan,
    Thanks for reading my blog, and for you kind message! Kinshicho is a lovely area, and I wish I live there..